somewhere in del sol valley, 3:54pm

anthony: so, i googled methuselah(²).

he stretches over and grabs his tablet

anthony: his family looks like the stock photo family that comes with picture frames at like, tjmaxx. (eden snickers) if this affair gets out, i don’t think the press won’t be kind to her and i don’t think feng would actively protect her…i’m guessing that’s why that dickhead was in a rush to get her out here?

eden: yeah. there is also the matter of simon and people employed by simon can’t do anything to her to keep her quiet

anthony: this old man really wanna be a mayor of that shithole that badly?

eden: babes, we’re a world class city. financial capital of simerica. i’m sure that holds weight with that kind of guy. (lowers voice) and tabs um, didn’t get into it but, i think she knows something about simon that we don’t.

anthony: (raises eyebrow) like?

eden: something bad. when i tried to press she shut me down and changed the subject.

anthony: (frowns) well now i feel like a complete dickhead for laughing. thanks for leaving that detail out. did she do that weird cheerful deflection thing she does? like a wendy williams segue?

eden: yeah. she wanted to talk more about designer clothes and karaoke than any impending danger she might be in.

he kisses his teeth

anthony: she’ll tell you when she wants to.

eden: we can’t help when she’s hiding stuff.

anthony: she won’t let you help her. especially if you’re badgering her about it. you know how she is. stone woman. if you two couldn’t get it out of her, i can try. but not promising anything. (raises eyebrow) i’m taking that flurry of texts from you and this conversation was carson’s way of priming me to call him.

eden: yes. but (sing-song) didn’t you love hearing all this fun gossip?

anthony: (smiles) i’d love it more if i wasn’t about to get involved. plus, it was a real roundabout way of getting me to do something i don’t want to do. (aggravated sigh) he’s going to ask me to keep an eye on her, isn’t he?

eden: (exhales sharply) he said you wouldn’t pick up if he called.

anthony: (annoyed) and he is correct. i didn’t pick up when he called me on friday in a huff. i am…

he pauses for a moment

anthony:…. civil to him because of tabs. but i’m not dating tabs anymore. (annoyed sigh) last time he and i linked up was for some industry thing and he’s so annoyingly social but with the worst people. models, random rich people, influencers. like real vapid del sol types. he’d burn out real quick if he lived here. never really understood how someone like that friends with y’all…

eden: eh, you can blame college for that. he wasn’t that bad in high school.

anthony: hmph. i always got a feeling something was going on between the both of them. like i look at all of this, and remember the way she’d talk about him….but anytime i’d ask about it, she’d to stonewall me. plus he’s doing all of (gestures vaguely) this. you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?

eden: (stammers) uh no! no. t-they’re just good friends.

anthony: (skeptical)hmm. i bet.don’t make me call him. and don’t make me call her either. none of this is my business to be honest. like, i haven’t really spoken to her since i ended it and moved out here…

eden: she says you still leave hearts on her selfies on simsta though…

anthony: (defensive) yes because she is still dumb fine. i’m not one to deny a girl that tiny bit of ego boost from a like. but like, that’s not real interaction. i’m talking about an actual conversation. i pretty much go on simsta to look at celebrity thirst traps and ads for shit i don’t want to buy. tabs just…happens to be on there as well.

eden: (laughs) well, you two meeting up would give you a great chance to catch up.

anthony: again, something i really don’t want to do. but, i guess i have to, don’t i?

eden: you don’t have to. you want to. don’t you?

he lets out an aggravated sigh

anthony: (annoyed) yeah that’s it. i’ll talk to you later.